It was one of the most famed and fated romances ever. A battle-scarred veteran and a reigning queen torn between their duty to their peoples and their passion for one another. At least that's how Shakespeare saw it, in his play "Antony and Cleopatra."
The story of those long-ago star-crossed lovers still resonates today. And this summer GreenStage Theater company will stage it in parks around the Seattle area. The series of free outdoor performances will feature Lyam White as Antony and Allison Strickland as Cleopatra. In the open, close to the audience, this staging may be closer to the way Shakespeare's companies performed than in today's high tech theaters.
The story starts at a tumultuous period for the Roman Empire and for Egypt. Julius Caesar is dead, and the civil war that followed his assassination has ended. Three generals wield power in a shaky alliance: the young and ambitious Octavius, the old and failing Lepidus, and Mark Antony, who has laid aside politics and duty to pursue a love affair. As foreign and domestic enemies continue to threaten the state, this alliance is doomed to collapse. In Cleopatra's Egypt, people believe the only civic duty is to suck the marrow out of life. Here, love is law, magic is mundane, and the military strictness of Rome is mocked in favor of feasting. No wonder that Antony and his officers continually postpone their return to Rome. In a world so conflicted, however, the haven of Egypt is too perfect to last: even as the play opens, the dogs of war are already baying at the gates.
The stars of the company are well supported by an accomplished cast under the direction of Patrick Bentley. Take your picnic and enjoy!
Friday, July 15 - 7pm - Woodland Park
Saturday, July 16 - 3pm - Woodland Park*
Friday, July 22 - 7pm - Judkins Park
Saturday, July 23 - 7pm - Lincoln Park
Sunday, July 24 - 3pm - Discovery Park
Friday, July 29 - 7pm - Camp Long
Saturday, July 30 - 7pm - Dottie Harper Park, Burien
Thursday, August 4 - 7pm - Lynndale Park, Lynnwood
Friday, August 5 - 7pm - Fall City Park
Saturday, August 6 - 3pm - Magnuson Park*
Sunday, August 7 - 7pm - Magnuson Park*
Thursday, August 11 - 7pm - Volunteer Park
Friday, August 12 - 7pm - Redmond City Hall Park
Saturday, August 13 - 7pm - Volunteer Park*
* Double Feature Days with Shakespeare's "The Tempest" performed in the same park.